Fr. J.J.’s Jottings

Big News For Us And For Fr Eric!
As we often hear, there is a priest shortage. When Fr. Mark left, we even wondered if we might get a priest to replace him. Fortunately, Fr. Eric came to join us. What a blessing he is! St. Anastasia is a large, thriving, and active parish.

A few short months ago, April to be exact, I received a call that because of our size and activities that happen here, we would be getting a second associate. We received Fr. Moses with open arms. What a blessing! I know we are a large, active parish, but it is unheard of to have two associates with the lack of clergy.

Well, not that long ago, one of the pastors in the Archdiocese was called home to the Lord. This created a vacancy in parish “A”. In other words, they had no priest. Archbishop Vigneron called in an existing pastor to take over at parish “A” and help comfort that community in their loss. This created a vacancy in parish “B”. Archbishop Vigneron decided that the associate pastor from parish “C” would be an excellent fit in parish “B” (confused yet?). This created a vacancy for an associate pastor in parish “C”. Archbishop Vigneron decided that one of the associates from our parish (which again has two associates) would be an excellent fit in parish “C”. That associate is Fr. Eric and parish “C” is St. Hugo of the Hills in Bloomfield Hills.

Unfortunately, the switching around of priests ends there, i.e. we are back to one associate. Two other challenges: we have to say good bye to Fr. Eric, and he has to begin almost immediately (this week) at St. Hugo’s. Fortunately, going to St. Hugo’s will be an excellent experience for Fr. Eric and we will get to tell him how much he means to us at a farewell reception on Saturday, August 24 after the 4:00 p.m. Mass.

I want to thank Fr. Eric for his service to the Lord here at St. Anastasia. As I stated above, it has been a blessing. I encourage us to pray for Fr. Eric as he continues to serve and grow in God’s service as he absorbs all that the Holy Spirit offers at St. Hugo’s. I also encourage you to pray for an increase of folks who answer a call to serve Jesus, especially in the priesthood. Pray also for myself and Fr. Moses as we take up the slack left by Fr. Eric’s vacancy.     

 Changing Doors Together?
Because of your continued generosity to the Changing Lives Together (CLT) Campaign, you have made St. Anastasia a better place. So far, we have received about $80,000 and will continue to receive funds through the continued paying off of pledges by you and your fellow parishioners to improve our programs and property. We have put some of these funds into purchasing new vessels for the celebration of the Eucharist. We plan to do even grander things with the “Dream Big” ideas you suggested. This week, though, we do not have to wait for a major improvement that has been needed for quite some time. Handicap accessible doors were installed a few days ago to both our church (the west entrance by the music room) and our parish office entrance. If you are wondering why we did not place them on the front entrance gathering space doors, it is because those doors are unfortunately deteriorating and were not capable of accepting the proper hardware. So now those individuals who are in wheel chairs and utilize walkers will feel truly “loved and welcome” as our logo states. Thank you to all who donated to CLT.

Who Wouldn’t Want This?
Would like an opportunity to encounter the love of God, a deeper personal relationship with Jesus Christ, and guidance from the Holy Spirit? As a practicing Catholic, how about a refresher course in the faith? Do you know any lapsed Catholics who need a point of re-entry to the Church?

The Alpha program is resuming here at St. Anastasia with an introductory dinner in the Davidson Center on September 5 at 6:30 p.m. Alpha? It is a practical introduction to the teachings of Jesus. It is for people of all or no religious backgrounds and viewpoints. If you have been looking for a way to invite family and friends to a closer relationship with Jesus, Alpha is the answer.

It is free! There are ten sessions, each starting with dinner. A DVD presentation follows with small group discussions in a safe, explorative environment. If you are not sure you would be comfortable inviting someone, come to the introductory dinner and experience the format for yourself. Next weekend we will have postcards you can send to those you think might benefit.

God bless,
Fr. J.J.